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Camgirl

Art zine, Josephine Norman, johzephine.com

Some topics are easily dismissed as controversial and cause folks to speak endlessly about them, even when they don’t understand what they’re talking about. Josephine Norman brilliantly subverts this tendency with her tidy, deceptively simple, and beautifully designed zine entitled Camgirl. In it, she illustrates to the reader the life of a camgirl in hardly any words. She simply defines a camgirl as “a girl who does virtual peep shows for a living, often described as a cross between live porn and a call girl,” and then allows her clients to convey the rest. The digital messages between them and herself are printed throughout the tiny folded zine, overlaid with gorgeous drawings of her body. Wrapped in a frosted vellum, this work is at once sophisticated and charming as hell.

The meaning is up to our interpretation, and for me, it reads as an act of self-confidence, and an effort to make apparent the banality and normality of a much-chagrined profession. The cover is tiled with a delightful array of sex toys and savoury snacks, providing an instant appeal and insight into the essentials in the life of a young working person — tools of the trade and burgers for sustenance.

Sex work is, for many, a loaded topic, one that elicits judgment and misunderstanding. Norman comes from a place of first-hand knowledge, and shares her adventures without shame and with a sense of humour. (Nicole Partyka)

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